Composting Basics – Getting Started

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As gardeners, high-quality soil is important to us. Great soil means, of course, healthy, productive plants. There are various ways to amend soil, but one of the most economical and earth-friendly ways is to create your own compost. This is a great method because it reduces waste and also helps your garden.

Instead of throwing out things like grass clippings, coffee grounds, dried leaves, pine needles, tea bags, dead flowers, and kitchen scraps, add these to your compost heap and turn them into rich fertilizer for your garden.

To start, decide what kind of composter you want to set up. Some people dig holes to fill with compost or start piling it into a heap or in a bin in their yard. Others use a tumbler or other kind of container to help accelerate the process. Tumblers allow you to easily turn the contents, meaning faster decomposition. Certain types of composters will even heat up the compost and mix it for you. There are plenty of options, so you’ll want to do some research.

Once you’ve decided on a composting method, you’ll be on your way to homemade, high-quality compost.  Just add yard waste and kitchen scraps, ensuring there is a good mix of “dry brown” and “wet green” material. Depending on your composting method, you will have fertilizer ready within a few months to a year.

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